The Indigenous Design Place is a research hub, drawing together academic research teams, Indigenous collaborators and professional support to catalyse social and economic change by delivering culturally appropriate planning and applied research products and publications.

Our researchers use architectural, engineering, physical science, and social science approaches to co-design infrastructure and service design solutions that best support wellbeing in Australian Indigenous communities. We strive to produce research-based outputs that have direct capacity to improve the daily lives of Aboriginal people by focusing on the development of hard and soft infrastructure for Indigenous communities, including built environment designs, community-led social change plans, and social policies.  

The research and outputs of the Indigenous Design Place are diverse and have significance for:

  • Indigenous organisations and leaders striving to improve wellbeing in their communities
  • governments seeking to improve lifetime wellbeing for Australian Indigenous people
  • service providers, aiming to improve engagement and efficiency in their work with Indigenous communities
  • construction industry stakeholders (including architects), looking for design solutions that are consistent with the needs of their clients and responsive to Indigenous end-users
  • international researchers and industry, looking for design solutions, products, principles and approaches with potential applicability to their local context.

The Indigenous Design Place welcomes new opportunities to collaborate in order to achieve impact for Australian Indigenous people.


  • Develop innovative Aboriginal-led social and built environment design solutions to improve wellbeing for Indigenous communities
  • Draw on Indigenous cultural traditions that are relevant for adaption to contemporary context and provide opportunities for healing and wellbeing
  • Advocate and deliver integrated planning for reformed service delivery with a mix of environmental, architectural and social solutions


  • Building Designs
  • Social Service Designs
  • Participatory Planning
  • Genealogical Research
  • Mentoring and Training
  • Seminars and Lectures

Project team

Professor Paul Memmott (project leader) and a multi-disciplinary research network across The University of Queensland

Project details

Duration: January 2016–January 2019


  • UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
  • UQ Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • UQ Faculty of Science
  • Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Funding: The University of Queensland

Contact: Professor Paul Memmott (

ISSR ref: ISSR021125